Sunday, June 1, 2008
My family just spent several days away on vacation. Okay, so actually it was a work conference for my husband, but my daughter and I were invited along. We ended up having to spend almost the entire time inside the hotel, and I hadn't brought our bathing suits. I had half intended to use the childcare and participate in the conference with my husband, but I couldn't bring myself to do it (see my other blog). So there we were in the hotel, mommy and toddler, with hours to spend... We actually came up with some activities for this different environment. They may not sound as fun as they were, but we actually had a blast with them. Here were our favorites:
The entrance to the hotel restaurant had big, full-size mirrors connected at their corners. It was the effect of walking into a dressing room - you could see 4 of you. My daughter was delighted by this. We watched the 4 of both of us dance, played peek-a-boo-type games with our reflexions, and she just jabbered away. When we were in our room, there was a single full-size mirror, and that wasn't exactly as neat, but she still had a lot of fun watching herself in the mirror.
There were several rather large sets of stairs, and we went up and down, up and down, up and down. This was great physical activity.
When we needed to actually go somewhere and she was cranky about leaving wherever we were, all I had to say was, "Elevator?" and she was ready to go! I didn't let her push the buttons, but she noticed that the little circle had to be red in order for the elevator to come, and she would say, "Red? Red?" when we got close to the elevator. And then inside the elevator the button needed to turn orange, and she would say knowingly, "Orange," when I pushed the button.
The bathtub in our room honestly wasn't anything special. But she was delighted by it. I had a few moments to myself in the middle of the day by taking her into our room and letting her sit, fully clothed with no water, in the bathtub.
We use mostly bar soap at home. The hotel had super fun foam soap in its public restrooms. She so liked the soap that we had zero potty accidents the entire trip. (She only got to wash her hands with the soap when she went potty. She eagerly went to potty, squeezing at least a little bit out almost once and hour for the sake of washing her hands with the soap).
The walk to our room was really, really long. I hadn't remembered the stroller, and she didn't want to be carried... and so we had to do the long walk together every time. So, to keep each stage of the walk interesting, I found something in the next hallway ahead of us to peak her interest and keep us moving forward. One hallway was sloped upward, and so we went "up the hill!" Then there were the telephones, which we used to "call" grandma and grandpa. And then was the long hallway with chairs along one side all along hallway - yes, we sat on every single one every time. It was the easiest way to keep her moving forward. We'd sit on one together, and then say, "Next one!" and go to the next...
We also spent time with the other children in the childcare rooms. And there were tons of fabulous people at the conference. Just being around them at times was delightful to my daughter. All in all, the days went quickly and felt full of fun and bonding time. It is nice to be home again, but I have to admit that today I missed being able to say, "Elevator!" and have everything suddenly be okay.